(NOTE: This post was written by friend of THE GREAT MAMBINO, Alvy. He is one of the foulest, most bile-filled humans that I've met in my life. His hatred of mediocrity goes beyond my own, his hatred of Frank McCourt goes beyond human comprehension and his love of the Los Angeles Lakers is second only to his love of himself.
Last week, we "discussed" Andrew Bynum's suspension for his late game hit on JJ Barea in the deciding game 4 between the Lakers and the Mavericks. Needless to say, Alvy was more than opinionated about it, so much so that we asked him to write a guest post. Read on and welcome Alvy to our distinguished [nope] ranks)
There was an ugly moment in the final game of the temporary collapse of the Laker Kingdom. With a few minutes left in the game, Juan Pablo Estaban Manuel Jose Berea de Mexico drove through the matador perimeter defense of the Lakers to the hoop and, while in mid-air, was bulldozed by Fat Albert…err…Andrew Bynum.
Let me set the record straight here - this was a cheap, dirty, classless foul. The kid needs to grow up and stop embarrassing himself, the city of Los Angeles, the Lakers organization and most importantly, me.
The point I want to make is that the public outcry (get a grip, people) and the subsequent suspension (seriously, Stern?) were way over the top. And when I say way over the top…I mean Mel Gibson talking to his wife over the top. Or Christian Bale on a set talking to stage hand over the top. Everyone needs to relax.
Had that foul been committed on 99% of players in the league, it would not have resulted in such a ridiculous outcry. For example, let's say Drew had hit Dwight Howard. He may not have even felt Bynum’s foul on his way to a Sportcenter Top 10 Dunk of the Year. Even if that had been a smaller player like Trevor Ariza or Ronnie Brewer, then it’s just a hard, cheap shot. But because Barea is so freaking tiny, he took the hit harder than other normal-sized players, and his fall to the ground looked worse.
THIS IS NOT BYNUM’S FAULT. It is ridiculous to expect NBA players to consider the size of the opposing player before taking a particular action (in this case, a cheap, hard foul). It’s completely unreasonable.
Bynum is a big boy. One of the biggest in the NBA. Barea is a small boy. One of the smallest on the planet. The NBA is played at a lightning-quick pace. Decisions are made in nano-seconds and plays happen in the blink of an eye. It is a silly statement to presume that an NBA player should have to be responsible for the way a player lands after a foul.
And to the suspension itself - it's absurd. Back in the 90’s, players got 1 and 2 game suspensions for FIGHTING. Not cheap fouls or elbows, fists to the ACTUAL FACE. I point to the famous ’97 brawl between the Heat and Knicks (remember? It's the one where Jeff Van Gundy grabbed onto Alonzo Mourning’s legs). No player got more than 2 games for that. Let me remind you once again - that was a full blown BRAWL. And how about the most infamous fight of all? In 2004, after basically inciting what turned into a riot and oh, after THROWING A CHAIR AT A FAN (yes, a spectator!) Ben Wallace got just 6 games! Bynum jumps into Barea and the little maggot falls to the ground and Bynum get 5 games. Had Bynum subsequently THROWN A CHAIR AT A FAN, then yeah, 5 games is right. But that didn’t happen. All that happened, was that Barea - because he’s so small - fell to the floor hard. That’s not Bynum’s fault and he shouldn’t be held responsible for the tiny stature of Barea. It’s an absurd burden to place on any player in the fastest, most athletic league in the world.
The final argument is that David Stern and his minions that run the NBA Corporation were sending Bynum a message. There was the a de-lunging Gerald Wallace two seasons ago (he’s completely fine btw) and the clobbering of Michael Beasley (also perfectly healthy). IT’S A BIG BOYS LEAGUE. If someone wants to say that this punishment was the league sending a message, I am fine with that. But if a punishment is designed to ‘send a message,’ then one of the implications is that it did not fit this particular crime, but rather the body of Bynum’s assault work. And that just proves my point that this was way over the top (both the media and fan reaction, not to mention the suspension itself) for what actually happened last week. Everyone needs to chill out. He deserved 1-2 games MAX for a dirty play. Anyone who disagrees doesn’t know anything about the NBA.